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The Latest: Migrant trafficker held for abductions in Greece

Associated Press logo Associated Press 29/12/2016
FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2016 file photo a police officer lights a candle in Berlin, Germany the day after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market nearby. German prosecutors say they've detained a Tunisian man they think may have been involved in last week's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016 the 40-year-old was detained during a search of his home and business. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader,file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2016 file photo a police officer lights a candle in Berlin, Germany the day after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market nearby. German prosecutors say they've detained a Tunisian man they think may have been involved in last week's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016 the 40-year-old was detained during a search of his home and business. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader,file)

BELGRADE, Serbia — The Latest on Europe's response to the influx of asylum-seekers and migrants (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Police in northern Greece say two asylum seekers who allegedly were held captive by traffickers for failing to pay transit fees have been freed.

A Bulgarian man was arrested and held on abduction charges Thursday after police raided an apartment in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city.

Police said a Syrian and an Iraqi man, age 26 and 32, were locked in a room for more than a week after traffickers brought them over a river dividing Turkey and Greece and drove them 350 kilometers (220 miles) to the city.

The smugglers claimed each man owed them 1,500 euros ($1,570.)

Several major anti-trafficking operations have been centered on Thessaloniki, an hour's drive from the border with Macedonia, since several European countries closed their borders to refugees last year.

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5:25 p.m.

Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper is urging "decent refugees" to prevent violence by young migrants and report radicals to authorities.

The call in Arabic and German by Julian Reichelt, the editor-in-chief of Bild's online edition, followed the Berlin Christmas market attack in which a failed Tunisian asylum-seeker is the prime suspect and the detention of seven young men from Syria and Libya accused of trying to set a homeless man alight in a Berlin subway station.

Reichelt wrote that "what we need is an uprising of decent refugees."

He urged them to make clear to young migrants "that they mock and spit on with acts of violence the country that has given you and your children refuge." And he said they're responsible for keeping an eye on who young migrants are chatting with and who influences them.

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1:10 p.m.

Lawyers representing 36 children from the now dismantled migrant camp in the French town of Calais have launched a legal challenge to Britain's handling of their asylum applications.

Toufique Hossain, who represents the children, says 28 of them want written reasons for why their cases were rejected. He says eight others are waiting for an outcome to their applications.

The children, aged 14 to 17, are from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Sudan.

Hossain said Thursday they are seeking a judicial review in the High Court, expected in early next year.

French authorities dismantled the slum-like migrant camp known as the "jungle" in October. Hossain argued that Britain's government has failed to live up to a promise to take in more unaccompanied children from the sprawling camp.

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12:30 p.m.

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni says the government will take further measures to combat terrorism following the shooting death of a Tunisian fugitive near Milan.

He also told reporters in Rome on Thursday that the government needs to take steps to improve the efficiency of repatriation procedures at migrant centers.

Italy's interior minister will head a meeting on security in Milan later Thursday, nearly a week after the fugitive suspect in the Berlin Christmas market attack was shot to death after being stopped in a routine police patrol.

The fugitive, Anis Amri, had arrived in Italy during Arab Spring in early 2011, quickly landing in jail after setting fire to a migrant center. Attempts by Italy to deport him after his release failed for bureaucratic reasons.

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10:25 a.m.

Serbian police say two Afghan migrants have been killed and 10 have been injured in a car crash on a highway in central Serbia.

Police say the crash occurred early Thursday near the town of Nis when the car crammed with the migrants hit a protective barrier on the highway. A suspected people smuggler who drove the car fled the scene of the crash.

State TV quoted doctors from the emergency hospital in Nis as saying that the injured migrants included five children. Doctors say that most of the injuries are severe and that one of the patients had to have both legs amputated.

Thousands of migrants are stranded in Serbia looking for ways to reach EU countries which have sought to curb the influx.

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